Archive for the ‘models’ Category

So, 3 items under the camera … Chris gave me a P&G SU-76i quite a while ago, and I’ve been meaning to get round to it … the SU-122 I did years ago. It’s a conversion from a FoW T-34 which I did mainly because I wanted the turret for one of my trains (I figured it was less of a build to put the assault gun casement on the tank chassis than to scratch build a decent turret for the train). It’s been sitting around in the tank division box with just a basic green coat.

Finally, there’s a big gun from Butlers Printed Models


I’ve repaired a bit of damage, given it a drybrush and applied some decals. I suspect the bow tactical mark is a bit big but it’ll do. And there’s something on the roof to let the Sturmoviks know whose side you’re on.


This is a 3D print, and not to badly affected by the layering process. The only thing I didn’t like was the over-sized gun barrel (so I replaced with a bit of spare plastic). OK, I did do a bit of filing – but once the original gun was chopped off, there wasn’t too much to do.

I left the base blank for now as I didn’t quite know where the 76i would fit in – but looking around for contemporary pics, I can see it’s going to end up in the Winter box with a snowy base.

I swapped the 3D printed fuel tanks for some FoW ones. But, basically, it’s a nice little model.

Extra Heavy Artillery

This is a WWI British BL9.2 inch from Butlers Printed Models but they were quite widely used and survived into WW2. The soviets had some and deployed them in the Winter War against the Mannerheim Line.

I will happily use them in a generic way for siege artillery.

Here’s a Peter Pig Russian Officer alongside to give a sense of scale …

And here it is with a the other big gun options …

I think it will work quite nicely …

This is a Skoda siege howitzer of the type which some of the Axis allies supplied for the siege of Sevastopol.

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So this is both an update on my long-running ‘trains and boats and planes’ saga as well as a potted review of a new 3D modl by Butlers: the Heinkel HE 111.

BPM’s 1:200 scale HE111 over the Sea of Azov (escorted by a Revell FW190 and Zvezda ME109 – both 1:144)

If we;ve discussed this before, you’ll know I favour going one or more scales down for air support … for 15mm/1:100, I prefer 1:144 fighters and fighter/dive bombers, 1:200 bombers and transports, smaller for very large plans and airships (my TB3 Bomber is approx 1:250 IIRC). To me, it both looks less clumsy than uniform scaling and nods to the very different time and distance scales that the Air Arms are running to.

I know some of you won’t agree, so I won’t press the point.

Zvezda came close to my thinking with the aesthetics of Art of Tactic (1:72 figues; 1:100 vehicles; 1:144 fighters; 1:200 bombers … tiny boats and trains*)

Zvezda’a JU52s have been very handy, and for a light bomber, their JU88 was a bit bland but sill useful. But what I’ve really wanted was a Heinkel HE111 … it’s somehow the WW2 Axis bomber.

Butlers Printed Models have filled that gap, with a Heinkel in, as always, a wide variety of scales – and this is my experience of the 1:200 model

Much though I was looking forward to it, however, I have to admit I didn’t really take to this one. Planes like this are very ’rounded’ so I’m not really convinced that the plastic layering type of 3D printing is really appropriate for this sort of model. There are no windows as such, of course, it’s just a solid piece (that pretty much goes with the territory – but isn’t really my thing, nevertheless). The model comes as 5 parts – a single piece for most of the plane + separate engines each of 2 pieces. The engine pieces are badly sized and don’t really fit together.

Additionally, like the Zvezda JU88s, it is a very bland piece – if you want MGs, propellers, undercarriage, antennae etc. you’ll have to make your own. Needless to say, there are no decals with it – so, as supplied, I really do mean bland,

In the end, I’m fairly comfortable with the appearance of my HE111 – but that’s after a lot of filing, drilling, filling and fitting (so a long old slog) …

The picture from BPM’s website which doesn’t show that the engines are separate + some of the extra stages I think are necessay

On decals/livery, first, an apology to Luftwaffe buffs … the appearanc and markings are just generic, from what I had in my box of tricks … I have not represented a particular squadron or theatre. Second, whilst fellow enthusiasts might generally think my aversion to printing striations is a bit fussy, I’d add a caveat: fixing decals to rough surfaces isn’t always straightforward – so in this case I’d like to go as smooth as possible!

As you can see, I didn’t manage to get a completely smooth surface (although the camera does tend to accentuate the problem). The paint doesn’t adhere too well either!

(Yesthatphil’s BPM HE111)

On balance, therefore, I’d have much preferred this was a Zvezda model (!) … it would have gone together in minutes, wouldn’t have needed filling and at least would have had undercarriage, props and decals.

Useful if you need a small scale Heinkel, but larger than 1:200, I’d have thought the lack of detail would become increasingly unattractive. So unless it meets a specific need, I’d not really recommend this one.

1:200 scale BMP Heinkel: in dispersal with a couple of Zvezda JU88s and, nearby, a JU52)

All images are copyright Yesthatphil, so asking or acknowledging would be appropriate (wink)

(Not Quite Bundesarchiv)

*so I don’t like the figures and vehicles being different, and wouldn’t go with the tiny boats and trains – but I suspect for Zvezda it was a case of fitting symbolic models to the size of their grid!

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The 198 ID project plus Chris generously donating some pieces that would make an ideal HQ for the operation against Rostov (completed in the last update) has given a distinctly Axis flavour to the blog – but there are Russians on the workdesk too.

With a refurb to some of these motorcyclists, I have added a couple of extra machines and resolved how I want to depict the unit .

It’ll be just like the other motorised soldiers … a big base (with the others, it’s a truck or carrier base) which is the unit in transit mode … to which you add a machinegun/leader base when the unit is fully deployed for action …

So, as shown here, between two scout units … all three of these units would just be depicted by the big base when e.g. transiting along a road out of action – add the extra base and it becomes fully deployed: ‘combat base plus supports’.

The m/c combo is a Piggie BMW, converted to M72 with DP …

(you just need to reshape the sidecar and replace the MG)

From the TofOandEs, some of the Motorcycle Battalions were all combinations, some mixed combos and solos (most of these are M72s, but I’ve slipped a Tiz 600 in there for a bit of variety – converted from the Piggie WWI bike)

The ‘wheelie’ is because I imagine the terrain to be bumpy. There is a good image of some motorcycle troops negotiating a very dusty ‘road’ in the Kuban …

In the b&w picture, there’s also one of those little supply trucks like the ones I put in the infantry HQs. It’s a Zvezda Zis, but I cut the plastic out to give them open windscreens. For a simple/speedy conversion, I cut out the complete piece, then add the door pillars back in from card (rather than try to take the window out without damaging the pillars – which is a nicer technique but requires a bit more finesse) ..

They also have a reduced carrying area (which in this case included a metal tilt from the spares box which will give it a nice, weightier, feel on the table). Anything to make these pickups a bit different from the bigger workhorses.

After a little flurry of blogs, I have some medieval things to attend to – so there might be a little pause.

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Following swiftly on the CoW report, I’d like to add an update on the German HQ group from June.

They are pretty much done now. I did a little experiment with some decals – a learning process. I’ll get the surfaces flatter next time. Still not so bad (especially given they’re not even the right size) …

Anyway, here’s the group, followed by some of the individual models. I hope you like them!

The mobile phone camera is a bit harsh on the 3D printing striations. They’re not so noticeable with the naked eye.

‘K’ for Kleist, of course. The slightly oversized numberplates work fine on the back. I’ll have another go at the car pennon *wry smile* (we’ll get there in the end).

Figures by Peter Pig, cyclist and friend by Paint and Glue courtesy of NQM Chris. The bicycle is very fragile. There’s a wireman there so they can keepin touch.

The radio truck is an old bit of Matchbox optimistically grafted onto the back of a Zvezda Art of Tactic Opel Blitz. It looks nice now it’s tidied up (here, with the Flakpanzer for a bit of protection) . ..

The air recognition flag is painted but the swastika is a decal. Again it turned out OK I think.

Peter Pig crew, as you’d expect. The gunner took a bit of persuading.

In action …

Well I never …

Stalingrad won’t be much fun.

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Back to more from the work desk … this could be ‘German horsedrawn (Part 3)’ or ‘Russian Horsedrawn (Part 1) or ‘198 ID (Part 2)’ … the panje wagon was pretty universal on the Eastern Front, so I did sveral together.

They are basically light, open 4-wheeled wagons, typically pulled by just one or two horses and were used to carry almost anything. I’ve been waiting to add one to each of my Russian Divisions (or brigades, depending on the scale adopted), and needed one for the Germans (so the pioneers in 198 ID had something to tow their kit around in).

(OK, I added another kettenkrad .. Chris’s NQM article on them persuaded me I needed more)

And while I was doing them, I completed the welfare stands allocated to the Russian HQs by providing the Concert Party with a cart …

I should probably find out the correct nomenclature for these fellows (from Peter Pig’s ‘dancing Rusians’ pack): early in the war years, the Red Army had propaganda units and political officers attached to ensure the men embodied the right values … as the war progressed, they appreciated that visits from famous ballerinas, and musicians giving the troops a good sing-along worked much better.

The welfare stands are ‘the other bit’ of the tail: medical units, padres, field kitchens and the like. Where appropriate (and, as always, it all depends on scale), these make ideal rallying points behind the lines. They could all be fields hospitals and ambulances, but I wanted a bit more variety.

They complete all the planned components in the Russian Rifle Division/Corps HQ units box

I reckon almost anything you need to support the infantry units can be pulled from this box now. It has three matching ‘HQs’ (across the top of the picture) plus (bottom left) the combined/overall HQ and (bottom right) some artillery and AA attachments.

Here’s 3 lots of ‘log, transport and welfare’:

The wagons are general, open cargo wagons from Museum Miniatures which I have slimmed down (narrowed by cutting a section out down the centres) and I have replaced the wheels with smaller ones (mostly spare Peter Pig ones).

The trucks are converted Zvezda ones, and pretty much all the figures are Peter Pig (as is the Kettenkrad).

To be continued.

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2 posts in quick succession? Well, reviewing my latest post upon publication (as I always do, to check for typos and such) a problem is slapping me straight in the face. The radios are barely distinguishable as radios – because they don’t have antennae. Doh!

This is pure oversight: I always put aerials on radios and radio vehicles – the models actually look better’ plus it helps identify the stands as command, staff, recce or whatever. Martin Goddard customarily puts a little starter ‘dimple’ on the models to guide your drill in, so you can ‘post fix’. Hands up: I forgot. Totally.

So I’ve had to go back. Checking my sources first, I can identify the radios Martin has modelled as Torn model E Bs. They have a whiplash type aerial on the left side of the front guy’s box (see pic) … and indeed, close inspection shows there is a tiny dimple where the drill should go. My drill was a bit big, though, so it wasn’t quite plain sailing (but I pressed on with what I had to hand).

(15mm modelling: Eeek … drilling a hole for the aerial turns out to be micro surgery)

Still, I’m just about there on all 3 models. My ‘go to’ for small aerials is brush bristle which tends to the right sort of thickness, is easy to cut and fit (and flexes more or less like the real thing in the case of accidents). Fortuitously for the photo exercise, the brush I snipped a few off had pink bristles which show up nicely for a ‘how to’ picture.

(next stage: fitting aerials made of bristles cut from a pink household brush)

As the material for these is virtually free, I tend to fit a longish mast, then trim it back after the glue has set.

I guess, including a coat of paint, going back and fixing this problem took half an hour or so. Photos and blogging the fix is the bigger job! That said, I think the fix illustrates my earlier point: I think these bases now look better – and look more like recce!

I was particularly pleased, mugging up on the radios, to find a photo of one being used by a team with a bicycle. Not the poses in my version, of course, but somehow ticking a box anyway.

(real life: Wehrmacht team with radio and bicycle)
(P.B.Eye-Candy: Wehrmacht team with radio and bicycle)

So, going back over the same job again doesn’t get the lead pile tackled but it did make me look up the details for the radio – so I have leant something in the process.

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As many regulars will know, my WWII collection is dual purposed … for tactical as well as operational wargames. The figures for 198 ID are ‘borrowed in’ from my PBI company, and just as there is a consequent ‘fill out’ in progress for all the impedimenta that goes with the Divisional Level formation (recorded here, as it joins the collection, under German Horsedrawn – for such most of it will be), there are also some components that need to be added to the basic blocks or that would be ‘nice to have’.

15mm figures by Peter Pig

So, in addition to an extra combat stand and support stand, I needed some recce for each of the regiments. I also decided (‘nice to have’) to add some boats to represent the river crossing and bridging capacities. Of course all divisions would have the facilities, but in game terms it is nice to have appropriate makers through which to channel the player’s attention (thinking forward; sending the boats to the right place; not leaving things behind etc.) …

Some Useful Boats

So, we saw the basic boat model on its trailer in the last update … added to this, now, is one in action – a Sturmboot 39 – and a couple of inflatables. These will come out at the sharp end … for most of the time the Division is moving around the theatre, the potential of these craft will simply be represented by the transit model, of course.

Also in the picture is a ‘downed Luftwaffe’ dinghy and a waterline Schwimmwagen which I already had (so this is now what I have got, as far as riverine assaults go)

The asault inflatables are by Quality Castings (with a couple of extra crew which are Peter Pig. The Sturmboot 39 is adapted by me from one of the resin boats from The Square (i.e. – and appropriately enough – it’s the same boat as the one on the trailer … I’ve just added a modicum of detail, given it a scratchbuilt outboard and a PP crew figure … and chopped it sufficient to have the right, ‘sturm’, attitude in the water).

P.B.Eye-Candy’s 15mm scale Leichtes Sturmboot 39

It has (seemingly always) an MG34 mounted in the bow and a very chracteristic motor (again, always the same power plant) which appears to be a Kovats type K4R4 … although highly simplified, I’ve tried to follow the basic shape and configuration in the scratchbuilt version.

The characteristic Kovats K4 R4: powerplant of the Sturmboot 39

As standard in my collection, the various watercraft are mounted on clear bases …

The scouts

Yesthatphil’s 15mm German recce stands

The recce stands with my PBI Aufkalrungsschwadron all use pretty fancy kit. Of course, 198 would have its fair share of motor vehicles, but that wasn’t the balance I wanted to strike. So I’ve made 3 new stands for this purpose … basic infantry going forward to scout without the luxury of armoured cars and half tracks. Consequently, I gave one a bicycle, one a motorbike, and one a horse.

Again denoting them as PBIs sent forward, I’ve given them the white wafenfarbe (uniform piping) of the infantry (rather than of specialist reconaissance unit).

(figures by Peter Pig, bicycle from model railway supplies)
Wehrmacht 198 ID scouting parties

Each of the bases is completed with a Peter Pig 2-man radio team in greatcoats (to which I’ve swapped a couple of heads for variety) …

The box of divisional assets and support ehelons is filling up.

Somewhere in RussiaAssault troops from 198 ID make an improvised river crossing prior to bridging operations

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So this is the first set of pictures as the models begin to get painted and based, ready to fill out the rear echelon of the infantry division. This batch has a small limber, a heavy supply wagon, the Machinegun Flak cart and a boat.

The boat is intended as a generic marker – possibly marking assault boats, possibly bridging equipment, depending on the demands of the scenario. It is an upturned ‘The Square’ resin boat on some BPM 3D printed wheels.

The gun represents a divisional anti-tank unit, notionally equiped with a 50mm Pak 38.

(gun and limber by BattleFront, figures by Peter Pig, horses by Museum Miniatures)

This is modeled as my usual combination of the gun (BattleFront) on a metal shim with a ‘limbered’ base and a ‘deployed’ base, each of which has a magnabased patch for the gun.

The deployed gun (again, figures by Peter Pig)

1:100 scale/15mm models on P.B.Eye-Candy

Heavy Supply Wagon (Schwere Feldwagen Hf.2)

Wagon and Horses by Quality Castings, driver by Peter Pig

And finally, the little flak cart … (Maschinengewehrwagen 36)

Limber, wheels and weapons by Battlefront, cart scratchbuilt. horses by QRF and crew by Peter Pig

The vehicle typically is armed with MG34s, whereas I had MG42s in my spares – however, some pictures I have seen do suggest MG42s were used. I have simplified the gun sights.

Maschinengewehrwagen 36: details

So far, so good. Hopefully I can get a little shift on with the next batch.

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1:1200 ships

A friend of mine recently posted pictures of a model of Bismarck that he had recently completed and I immediately browsed through the files here so as to share pictures some of my own smaller models with him. It turns out that although I have some pictures of the Bismarck and others from the battle of the Denmark Strait campaign in (Big Ship) action, the only ship I had posted individually was the Vittorio Veneto …

P.B.Eye-Candy Fleet Action: Bismarck and Scharnhorst engage Hood and Suffolk
P.B.Eye-Candy Profile: 1:1200 Vittorio Veneto from Revell

So this post is a gratuitous corrective post. It reminds me that I have a lot of work to do on the rules and on the collection – but it also puts up some more pictures.

The War for the North Atlantic

1:1200 Airfix and Revell: the pride of the Kriegsmarine …
Prinz Eugen

The inspiration for taking these pictures was my friend’s Bismarck, so mostly I took a lot of pictures of the Kriegsmarine’s capital ships … but, hunting them down, of course, would have been the Royal Navy …

KGV, POW, Ark Royal, Hood, Suffolk and one of several destroyers
P.B.Eye-Candy: the search for Bismarck … long range missions, and Swordfish from Ark Royal
P.B.Eye-Candy: eager to close the range, Hood hunts down Bismarck

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Merry Christmas everyone. An unusual year. And I’ve been up to something unusual (for this blog, anyway) over the evenings leading up to the 25th – but which I thought you might enjoy.

My friend’s daughter recently lost her grandfather, who had been an enthusiastic warplane buff and modeller, though latterly affected by old age. She was able to retrieve some of his models which she wanted to keep for sentimental reasons – the only problem being that they were broken (so she wasn’t sure what to do with them). A job for Uncle Phil, then … and I determined to get them ready by Christmas (so, a gift of time and attention for her, rather than something off Amazon!)

The box contained a couple of WW2 biplanes and a more recent helicopter. In varying states of repair (but all had had their wheels broken off, and not all the wheels were in the box). The Kaman Seasprite looked the bigger challenge as I was going to have to find or fabricate one of the main rotor blades and the entire rear rotor. As it happened, that significantly underestimated the problems I would have with the Stranraer’s upper wing.

Anyway, despite a very long night or two, I got them done, and I think they ended up looking very tidy. Pretty much back to their former best, so the (surprise) box opening on Christmas Day was a magical moment (a wave of emotion that easily justified the time that had been taken).


This was the easiest of the three. Other than fixing some loose wing parts and struts, all I had to do was fabricate a missing wheel and fix both wheels on. Miliput to the rescue. I was intending to make a press mould but the wheels on the Stringbag are so basic I was able to make one freehand.

Fairey Swordfish torpedo bomber

The refurbished Swordfish model.

A favourite of mine. Hero of the attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, Swordfish attacks also helped cripple the Bismarck in the struggle for the North Atlantic shipping lanes.


Look at the rigging on that! Unfortunately the broken off top wing and struts had warped, and the tangle of attached rigging prevented an ‘in one’ reassembly (I had to work my way out from the centre, section by section with elastic bands to give the glue a chance to hold the wing in line). This one also had a missing wheel and a broken propeller.

This model also had snapped machinegun barrels, so I had to drill them out and replace them with brass wire.

The floats proved particularly tricky, as the plastic was aged and brittle. It didn’t want to be glued, and the compression necessary to achieve the bond snapped the struts.

Although I do frequently use plastic kits for vehicles, I have long advocated the ‘metal parts for guns and fittings approach’ and shake my head at the current fashion for hard plastic figures. So it was ironic for me to be dealing with precisely the issues I have warned others about with ageing hard plastics. Ah well. I got there in the end.

I have to say that, although the crews apparently disliked it, as a plane of its era, the Stranraer is a very cool machine.

Supermarine Stranraer


The big problem with the Seasprite was the missing rotor blades. In the end, I cut the missing main rotor blade from a scrap plastic takeaway box. It took 2 layers to get the thickness, but I wanted that soft plastic to match the droopiness of the other blades (which were themselves made of a softer plastic than the rest of the model).

I know that it is a bit ‘rough and ready’ (it’s not an easy material for fine modelling) but you have to get quite close up to see that one of the four blades is a hand cut replacement rather than a moulded component from the kit.

So, all in all, a different project for Christmas and, it turned out, a job well done.

By my standards, these were quite big models to work on, and made out of my least favourite material. They look great, but it reminds me that I do need to get back to the (mostly metal, 1/100) German and Russian horsedrawn project. And some wargaming.

2021 beckons.

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